[Guide] USB Recovery drive not working? Try this...

If you're gonna create a guide... stick it in here!
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nememo
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January 31st, 2015, 7:16 pm

I've seen a couple of people saying that their Linx 10 or 7 USB recovery key isn't actually functional. So if you've hosed your system, you don't have any way of restoring in this case.

What I've attempted to create here is a USB Recovery environment which will work on the Linx 7, 8 and 10. All you need to do is burn the image to a blank USB drive, then add the recovery files from your none-working recovery drive. As I don't have a 7 or 10, I can't quite confirm if this works or not so I need people to test for me!


You'll need:
*This ISO image:http://mega.co.nz
*Rufus: https://rufus.akeo.ie/
*A blank USB drive (Min 8GB)
*Your non-working recovery drive created from your Linx[/list]

1. Insert your blank USB drive and open Rufus. On the right hand side, click the CD icon (highlighted yellow) and select the ISO image you've downloaded.
Image

2. Ensure the rest of the settings in Rufus are like the image. You must use GPT partitioning, and you must use FAT32. Press start to begin the process, it should only take a few minutes.

3. From your non-working USB drive, you need to go into the sources folder. There will be 5 files from there that you need:
*install.swm1
*install.swm2
*install.swm3
*$PBR_ResetConfig.xml
*$PBR_Diskpart.txt
Copy these 5 files into the Sources folder on your new drive. Depending on the speed of you USB drive, this may take a while.

4. Insert the new USB into your Linx and boot from it :)

Like I say, I've gone into this quite blind as I don't own a 7 or 10!
Last edited by nememo on March 12th, 2015, 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rob
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February 1st, 2015, 9:43 am

Thanks for all you hard work on this , I am just waiting for some suitable time to try it as just managed to break my usb hub, it doesn't seem to want to work when I plug a usb key in and locks the keyboard and as soon as I remove the usb key the keyboard springs into life.

Just about to order another one. (serves me right for getting a real cheap one)
nememo
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February 1st, 2015, 4:49 pm

I've just seen a post that some has actually tried this, and the environment itself is working - but the restore itself fails at somewhere are the 75% mark. As a very last resort, you can still use this USB device to restore the image manually - however you won't have WIMBoot functionality. Please do not attempt this unless you know what you're doing - I've written this off the top of my head so there may be errors in this.

You'll need to go into the advanced options of the recovery key and open a command prompt.

***What this does is completely erases your HDD - it WILL erase the recovery partition - make sure your SWM files are saved***
At the command prompt, type "diskpart" (without the quotes) and hit enter. Then work through each command in order:

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Select Disk 0
clean
convert gpt
create partition efi size=100
format quick fs=fat32 label=System
create partition msr size=128
create partition primary 
format quick fs=ntfs label=Windows
assign letter=C
list volumes
exit
The 2nd to last command (List volumes) should show you your new Windows drive (hopefully assigned the letter C), and the recovery drive (it may be the letter D, it may not) - where you need to take note of your recovery drive letter.

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Dism /apply-image /swmfile:D:\Sources\install.swm /index:1 /ApplyDir:C:\
You need to make sure you're pointing to the correct location of the swm file - hence you need to know what drive letter the usb drive is using - in this case it's D, and you're applying the image to the C drive.

Finally, run this command to get the bootloader to see the new partition:

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bcdboot C:\Windows
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Flibblebot
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February 2nd, 2015, 7:10 pm

nememo wrote:[...]
3. From your non-working USB drive, you need to go into the sources folder. There will be 5 files from there that you need:
*install.swm
*install.swm2
*install.swm3
*$PBR_ResetConfig.xml
*$PBR_Diskpart.txt
Copy these 5 files into the Sources folder on your new drive. Depending on the speed of you USB drive, this may take a while.
[...]
I've just double checked and the recovery files created by my Linx10 are install.swm1, install.swm2 and install.swm3 - no install.swm file at all. Does this matter?
nememo wrote:

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Dism /apply-image /swmfile:D:\Sources\install.swm /index:1 /ApplyDir:C:\
This bit doesn't work - it wants this as well:

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/imagefile:D:\Sources\install.swm
but this file doesn't exist (I tried renaming install.swm1 to install.swm but that doesn't work either) - it says the data is invalid. This suggests to me that there is a deeper problem and that the SWM files created for the recovery drive are actually corrupt?
nememo
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February 2nd, 2015, 7:39 pm

I was running off the top of my head so it could very well be .swm1 .swm2 and .swm3. Try changing references to install.swm to install.swm1.

Does it work then or is it still asking for an /imagefile option?
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thenuttyprof
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February 2nd, 2015, 9:58 pm

I will try this tomorrow and let you know
westonpf
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February 3rd, 2015, 5:05 am

Try add a * after the swm. Dism can also be used to combine .swm files back in to a single .wim file that can then be applied.

You will need to do this from a WinPE USB.

Alternatively you could try creating a second small NTFS partition and then take this approach.

Combine the swm files in to a single wim file and copy it to the second partition on your drive (assumed drive E:)

Run the following cmd

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dism /apply-image /imagefile:e:\install.Wim /index:1 /applydir:c:\ /wimboot
- copies Wimboot file to second partition

followed by

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bcdboot C:\windows /s
- sets computer to boot from the Wimboot.

I have used this method on a standard PC but not the Linx, it should give you a Wimboot environment but you won't have the recovery partition. Another approach can be found here

http://avisek.pl/translations/how-to-cr ... oot-image/
thenuttyprof
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February 3rd, 2015, 8:56 am

how do you use dism to combine them into one wim
westonpf
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February 3rd, 2015, 9:35 am

thenuttyprof wrote:how do you use dism to combine them into one wim
My mistake, it was 'imagex' I have used to combined a split wim. Plenty of instructions using Google but you will probably have to download the Windows deployment tools. You could also try WinReducer, I'm sure it handles swm files.

I did see these but haven't tried.

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DISM /Export-Image /C:install.swm* /SourceIndex:* /C:install.wim
or apply the swm files

Code: Select all

Dism /apply-image /imagefile:install.swm /swmfile:install.swm* /index:1 /applydir:D:\
thenuttyprof
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February 3rd, 2015, 10:19 am

Neither worker, I will try imagex later after I have installed it all
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